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WoT If...Nynaeve Heals Death?


Mashiara Sedai

Hello, everyone, and welcome to "WoT If," Dragonmount's weekly theory blog. My name is Mashiara, and I'm going to be filling this post. First off, my credentials: I've been reading the Wheel of Time since 2000, and joined Dragonmount that same year. I've read through the series eight times, with occasional rereads of my favorite parts. I'm also on my fourth listen through the audio books. During Brandon Sanderson's The Gathering Storm tour, I was a Storm Leader at the Scottsdale, Arizona location.

 

That being said, I'm going to present theories and ideas as I've perceived them, which may be different from your perceptions. If you have a different point of view, feel free to post it in the comments. I'd love to explore conflicting ideas; that's what is so fun about the Wheel of Time! Please be respectful, even if you're disagreeing with me or someone else.

 

Okay, moving on. This blog will cover theories mostly dealing with the last few books and the ending of A Memory of Light. It will contain spoilers! Please read at your own risk.

 

For my first post, I'd like to talk about something I've thought since near the beginning of the series: the importance of Nynaeve al'Meara. We are introduced to the Wisdom of Emond's Field very early on in The Eye of the World. When Rand, Mat, Perrin, and Egwene leave the village, Nynaeve chases after them. She arrives at The Stag and Lion inn, where Min works, in Baerlon. What Min sees is the first indicator that Nynaeve is important.

 

The Eye of the World

Chapter 16, "The Wisdom"

 

"The sparks, Rand. She met Mistress Alys coming in, and there were sparks, with just the two of them. Yesterday I couldn't see sparks without at least three or four of you together, but today it's all sharper, and more furious...You're all in more danger today than yesterday. Since she came."

 

There are three ta'veren present plus Moiraine, a woman who is important herself.

 

A Crown of Swords

Chapter 35, "Into the Woods"

 

What good to tell him he would almost certainly fail without a woman who was dead and gone?

 

Towers of Midnight

Chapter 54, "The Light of the World"

 

"I'd have to give up half the light of the world to save the world. Bloody snakes."

 

"To save the world?" Thom asked, looking down at Moiraine's peaceful face, her body wrapped in the patchwork cloak. He had left his pack on the floor.

 

"She has something yet to do," Mat said. The pain was receding somewhat. "We need her, Thom. Burn me, but it's probably something to do with Rand. Anyway, this had to happen."

 

Since Rand, Mat, Perrin, and Moiraine are all needed to get sparks—which represents the fight of the Light against the Shadow—why would Nynaeve's arrival make them visible with just two people present? I think it's implying that she's quite important later on down the road. For example:

 

First: she Heals stilling. (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 29, "Fire and Spirit")

Second: she helps Rand clean the taint on saidin. (Winter's Heart, Chapter 35, "With the Choedan Kal")

Third: she Heals the saidin-caused insanity in the Asha'man. (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 15, "Use a Pebble")

Fourth (though in the future): she promises to link with Rand and Callandor during Tarmon Gai'don.

 

Looking at each of these shows a time when Nynaeve does something that shouldn't be possible. For Healing stilling, she uses weaves not typically associated with Healing.

 

Lord of Chaos

Chapter 30, "To Heal Again"

 

"What made you think of using Fire?" Dagdara asked in a strangled voice that sounded entirely too high for such a big woman. "And Earth? You used Earth. Healing is Spirit, Water, and Air."

 

The same thing happens when she Heals Naeff's madness.

 

Towers of Midnight

Chapter 15, "Use a Pebble"

 

What she'd done hadn't been any standard Healing, and hadn't even used Healing weaves.

 

While Nynaeve is Delving into Naeff's mind, she wonders about her increased skills.

 

Towers of Midnight

Chapter 15, "Use a Pebble"

 

Her skill with Delving was improving, her weaves more refined, and she could find things once hidden to her.

 

Why do Nynaeve's abilities suddenly increase? How is she able to see weaves and ailments more clearly? If her skills have strengthened in just the two years she's knowingly worked with the One Power, it seems likely they will continue to improve.

 

This leads me to my conclusion: Nynaeve will be able to Heal death.

 

I know there's already a lot of debate about this, but it seems to me that most people are in the body-swap camp. But I believe there is some foreshadowing to Healing death in the books.

 

Lord of Chaos

Chapter 7, "A Matter of Thought"

 

Nynaeve would not be satisfied until she Healed someone three days dead.

 

There's also a lot of speculation on Rand faking his own death. However, the Aelfinn said:

 

Knife of Dreams

Chapter 18, "News for the Dragon"

 

"To live, you must die."

 

Rand and Min discuss a viewing of Alivia:

 

Winter's Heart

Chapter 25, "Bonds"

 

"Rand, I like Alivia...But she is going to kill you." She bit off every word.

 

"You said she was going to help me die," he said quietly. "Those were your words."

 

I think this means a real death, not a metaphorical death. If Rand must really die, then there needs to be a way to bring him back so he can live once more. Nicola's foretelling says:

 

Lord of Chaos

Chapter 14, "Dreams and Nightmares"

 

"Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle."

 

The great battle is Tarmon Gai'don. There's no way Rand can stay dead at the end of the series and have all these prophecies fulfilled.

 

While there are several plausible endings to the series, Nynaeve manifesting the ability to Heal death gives it more heart. It keeps in line with Nynaeve being able to do things that are considered impossible. It would also explain why her appearance at The Stag and Lion makes the sparks appear more easily. She's much more important to the future of the world than we give her credit for.

 

That's all for this week. Join us next time for a discussion about sul'dam and damane.

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Nynaeve healing death?

I think that this would be an ability to far, and break the her credibility in the eyes of most readers.

However, what she might be able to do is to "hang on to", or attract. Rand's Soul/Spirit before it completes

its migration to the next world, and return it to his (or "a") body before the body irreversiby degenerates. Much like the "Dark One" is able to do, she might even learn the ability by observing the Dark One's machinations. Maybe she also could slow down the degeneration of a Soul-departed body.

Umm....To all on-lookers this might look like healing death.

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The foreshadowing indicates that Nynaeve will 'heal' Rand's death in the same way that Moghedien 'healed' Birgitte's death. It didn't come across that way with Birgitte because she had been dead for a long time, but for Rand it will be a normal resurrection.

 

PS—Hardly anyone believes the body-swap theory any more, from my observations. It may be that Luckers doesn't even believe it any more. :p

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I think it's possible, and it might also happen in a way that off the bat none of us will be able to tell how. For this series to end big and wonderful and AMAZING things have to happen.....Hookedonweaves said it would break her credibility with the readers.. I think he/she is wrong. If anyone has been paying attention Nynaeve has been rapidly increasing her abilities, so it would flow in smoothly for her to do something like this. We've been getting used to it on purpose I think. btw, what is the body swap theory and why does hardly anyone believe it anymore.

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I think that if death is to be healed it must be done with a terrible price (either everybody could be resurrected). So either:

1. The healer will be stilled.

2. The healer will die.

 

 

I would bet that the second will happen. Nynaeve will sacrifice herself as Lan would have been dead already (foreshadowed) and she'll have nothing else to live for.

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RJ said that when Lan dies, Nynaeve will get over it and keep on living. As for the price...what was the price in Birgitte's case? She was ripped into the world too early, and already an adult, while Gaidal is a baby. What would be the price for Rand? I think one of the themes of the series is that he has already paid quite enough. The resurrection method is limited in that it can only be used for about 100 people, and only under very specific circumstances. Nynaeve is the only one who saw what Moghedien did, so the knowledge is very limited.

 

Speaking of foreshadowings for Nynaeve Healing death...IMO the best one by far is this one:

 

Marigan, a few years older, had been plump once, but her frayed brown dress hung on her loosely now, and her blunt face looked beyond weary. Her two sons, six and seven, stared silently at the world with too-big eyes; clinging to each other, they seemed frightened of everything and everyone else, even their own mother. Marigan had dealt in cures and herbs in Samara, though she had some odd ideas about both. That was no wonder, really; a woman who offered healing with Amadicia and Whitecloaks right across the river had to keep low, and even from the first she had had to teach herself. All she had ever wanted to do was cure sickness, and she claimed to have done it well, though she had not been able to save her husband. The five years since his death had been hard, and the coming of the Prophet had certainly not helped her any. Mobs searching for Aes Sedai chased her into hiding after she had cured a man of fever and rumor had turned it into bringing him back from the dead. That was how little most people knew of Aes Sedai; death was beyond the power to Heal. Even Marigan seemed to think it was not. She did not know where she was going any more than Nicola. A village somewhere, she hoped, where she could dispense herbs again in peace.

 

Marigan taught Nynaeve how to Heal death just a few chapters before. This scene is in Nynaeve's POV. Moghedien is there, Birgitte is there. Elayne, who figured out how to save Birgitte when she was ripped out, 'healing' something Nynaeve could not Heal. Nynaeve probably considers it her greatest failure, but Elayne had to figure it out, and she's also the one who figured out how to do the triple-bond for Rand. Presumably, she'll have to do it again when he's ripped out.

 

Nicola is also there—Nicola, who Foretold that 'he who is dead yet lives' will be on a boat with his three women while the world hangs in the balance, still divided by the Return. The three women who are, presumably, there to save him from death with the bond like Elayne saved Birgitte. In Arthurian legend, the women on the boat take Arthur to Avalon to be healed. We don't know where the boat will take Rand, but his women are needed to heal his death every bit as much as Nynaeve is needed.

 

Aside from all that, there are more layers to the above foreshadowing (which is only one foreshadowing of many). The name of the chapter, "To Boannda", is a reference to the Irish goddess Boann. She was a river goddess, of the River Boyne, and Boannda is on the River Boern. Semirhage's name was Nemene Damendar Boann—the third name was the one granted for great accomplishments in the Age of Legends, like Lews Therin Telamon, and Semirhage's accomplishments were in the realm of Healing. Boann is sometimes considered part of the triple goddess of Boann, Brighid, and Ceridwen. There is also a name parallel for Ceridwen way back in TGH, and already tied to Healing: Caredwain, yet another Healer—the one that the innkeeper of The Nine Rings offered to send for when Lanfear feigned illness.

 

Marigan is paralleled in The Morrígan, who is sometimes said to be the mother of Brighid through her short affair with the Dagda. In some stories, she seduced the Dagda by offering him a battle plan that could not be defeated. The Dagda was most notoriously a lover of Boann, though, and he is paralleled in WoT as Dagdara, the most talented Healer in Salidar, and introduced in the very next chapter.

 

Even Marigan's backstory casts her as a healer, a ridiculous claim to make considering that she has no ability for Healing at all. And yet, she taught Nynaeve how to Heal death, and all of the resonance in the above is enough to make it clear that Nynaeve will 'heal' death in the same way that Moghedien 'healed' Birgitte's death. But there is more. As recommended by Alan, read up on all those Irish mythological parallels on Wikipedia, and elsewhere, and see what you find.

 

PS—The body-swap theory was linked in the original post. I would like to think that people don't believe it any more because I make good arguments, but I am pretty arrogant, so maybe there is another reason. :p

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Never really considered that Rand's "dying and living again" would involve being ripped out of T'A'R. Interesting theory. I don't know if I'd call it "healing death," although I understand why people would think that. To me, calling what happened to Birgitte "healing death" seems a bit of a stretch. More like cheating death.

 

No one believes the body-swap theory anymore? Why not? Did someone find some evidence that rules it out?

 

And if Lan dies, it will not be in the battle we last saw him enter at the end of ToM. I think I read that Mr. Sanderson already gave a spoiler that Lan actually had the most POVs of any character in AMoL. Can't do that if he dies in the opening chapters. Need a reference for that, though. It doesn't mean he lives through the book, but my money is on Lan surviving the whole thing. If anyone deserves a happy ending in this series, it's Lan and Nynaeve.

 

On the other hand, the idea of Nynaeve learning to transmigrate a soul like the DO would is a newish theory that I like very much. Perhaps she tests it out on Lan? But the idea of a straight-up "healer of death" with no strings attached does strain credibility for me. The world would change in ways that would render the whole story insignificant. Nynaeve learns to heal death, then other channelers figure it out, the knowledge spreads, then no one ever has to die... see the slippery slope? I can't imagine RJ or BS going that route. If Nynaeve is actually able to resurrect someone, there will be a HUGE caveat to that ability; a downside that makes it only useful in that time and place where she is assisting Rand, which would allow the "death-healer" theory to stand, without cheapening the earlier story.

 

Anyway, back to work...

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Like I said, there are a ton of different ways the story can end with Rand being "he who is dead yet lives." There are so many ways to interpret that. I'm for Nynaeve Healing him. She just hates being told she can't do something; it makes the most sense to me. But Terez's theory about being ripping out of Tel'aran'rhiod could just as easily work.

 

I also hadn't realized that no one believed the body-swap theory anymore. Shows how much I pay attention.

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I agree with Metal Head on his point about 'cheating death'. The people that are in T'A'R are there as the creator puts them there for weaving out into life again because of their heroic abilities/lives.

Rand aka Lewis, is bound to the wheel as well, and when his time in this life ends, he will be placed back in T'A'R I believe. Ripping him out of there is more a way of cheating the pattern of the wheel. Basically denies the creator to weave him out again, just like in the case with Brigette.

It is possible that Nayneve will do this as the world will be too devastated to lose him after the final battle and will need him to start repairing the damage to all of the countries and so forth.

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It's possible that Lews Therin could fit that Foretelling, but there are still so many other instances where it's brought up. Like with the Aelfinn, Rand asked how he could win the Last Battle and survive. They replied, "To live, you must die." I don't think that could refer to Lews Therin because his question was too specific.

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I get where you are coming from. I know there are quite a few references for this. I also took the Aelfinn to possibly mean he would have to submit to Lews and let him take over in a sense so he would have the knowledge of the Age of Legends. To kind of cease being just Rand and in turn be Lews/Rand.

 

Although I will say that since the link with Moridin, I have been of the belief that Moridin dying could fill that role of having to die since they have some, yet to be understood link.

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ive always thought there could be a very simple way of "healing death"... just... balefire the corpse... it would burn back in the pattern, and undo the death...

the other option, would be that since rand is tied to the wheel, if the sealing happens in TAR, if rand were to die, he would just come right back to life... not truely alive, but living in TAR as a hero of the horn...

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i say the same as the poster above balfire is the most logical answer ( even if i think the right way to use it is to balefire away the person who killed the now dead) . The idéa that Nyn is going to heal death is in my eyes ludicrous.

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Lets add some fuel..Ready, Rand has lost his hand (left) ie: dead,

I am pretty certain Nynaeve states somewhere "she wonders if she can do anything about it...". It was a passing refrence she had if I remember rightly. Could that be the "healing death". She figures out how to "regenerate" lost limbs ?

 

Just a thought to ponder..:)

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Aren't we supposed to see 3 impossible things before the end of the series? I am pretty sure this is from prophecy. I believe we've seen 2 of them. (Healing stilling, healing taint). We've yet to see the 3rd. Healing death would fit with the theme and healing death is the only other "Impossible" thing left that is alluded to in the series.

 

Musings:

1 - you cannot heal someone over and over while they are alive to allow them to live forever. How could you make them Immortal if you have the ability to heal death? The body degrades to a point where it can no longer host a soul.

 

2 - The DO only has a small window to snatch souls. Nyneave would have this limitation as well. 3 days? stretch... but maybe that window is dramatically increased for ta'veren. OR

 

3 - If the decaying corpse were inside a stasis weave aka "Tomb"? The body does not decay.... allows the soul to hang onto the body longer. Perhaps this is what increases the length of the window.

 

4 - I predict that the soul does not leave the body immediately upon "dying" but rather it hangs onto the body until the body reaches a state of decay that no longer supports life. Once that point is reached, the soul is permanently gone from the body until rebirth. If you manage to heal the body before the departure of the soul (thus preventing departure), you're now able to "heal death" with the right weave.

 

5 - Regardless of whether or not the previous prediction is correct, I also predict that Nyneave will heal Rand's death but will afterwards fail healing Lan's death but have no idea why she cannot. She cannot delve for his soul to "grab" onto. (missing the window)

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Brandon said during one of The Gathering Storm events, that "Nynaeve has said before, and believes, that everything can and should be able to be Healed, except for maybe death, and she certainly believes that it is possible. I'm not going to say whether or not it will happen." Note the "except for maybe death." Sounds like an Aes Sedai answer to me.

 

I don't think any of the characters will risk balefire at this point in the game. The Pattern's already so weak, it might not stand up to much more balefiring. Could it work? Probably. But since it was done to bring back Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean, it seems unlikely to be used again.

 

I like the idea of Rand's body being put into stasis. I don't know how stasis boxes work, but there must be some weave used on the box to freeze time inside. Weave it around Rand and it could keep his dead soul inside his body.

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ok im going to play the stubborn card here.

could it be possible that Nynaeve being possibly the stubbornist person in the entire world just would not except the fact that either or both Rand or Lan has died and just blantanly refuses to let them "cross over" and forces thier souls back into the body. to me she is just that stubborn that she might just pull it off. but we will all just have to wait and see what happens in January

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Ok, so I'm new to this forum, and this is the first article that I've read, so please bear with me if I'm being ignorant of opinions already stated in other venues.

 

That being said, I have always assumed that when Mat blows the horn at the last battle (or whoever blows it now--since he died and came back, I'm sure that's another forum...), that Birgitte would be pulled from "real life" and back into T'A'R. The women talk about her untimely pull from T'A'R snapping her connections to the wheel, but this is just chatter between a few women, who have done no research or study of the situation as it is an exclusive event. They have no real understanding of what will happen when the horn goes off. I believe that if the Creator himself tied her to the wheel, not even the Chosen could change that without the use of balefire.

 

As for Nynaeve healing death, I agree that it would seem to be a stretch for the overall storyline. I know that she is greatly capable of creating miracles, but it seems like ending the whole saga with, "and then everyone lived happily ever after!"

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That being said, I have always assumed that when Mat blows the horn at the last battle (or whoever blows it now--since he died and came back, I'm sure that's another forum...), that Birgitte would be pulled from "real life" and back into T'A'R. The women talk about her untimely pull from T'A'R snapping her connections to the wheel, but this is just chatter between a few women, who have done no research or study of the situation as it is an exclusive event. They have no real understanding of what will happen when the horn goes off. I believe that if the Creator himself tied her to the wheel, not even the Chosen could change that without the use of balefire.

 

im pretty sure that rj said that mats balefired rebirth, didnt sever his connectin with the horn... or more to say, that when he died, it was severed, when balefired back to life, the connection to the horn returned also...

 

as for brigetta, i believe that she is still bound to the wheel(or at least will be sortly again), that she will likely die in the next book, and be reborn almost right away, in time for her to be reconnected with gaidal(she was always younger too)...

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As far as Brigitta, I agree that I would be surprised if "this is it", so to speak. Prematurely brought out and all, yet nothing that entirely excludes a possibility of her finding herself back in T'A'R when she dies eventually. Nothing says she can't still even have her "usual" adventures with Gaidal Cain, as time passes the years of difference between them will become more insignificant in any case.

 

As for Nynaeve, I dunno. I do believe she has a significant role to play in recreating the DO's prison, but healing death is problematic on so many levels. There has been plenty of mentions that could suggest something like it but I have a hard time seeing how it could be done without rendering the whole concept of death meaningless. Perhaps if she in some way can act as a catalysator for the Creator or something, you would have a non-spammable way to heal death, else the cost will have to be so significant it's something nobody would elect to do otherwise.

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ive also considered, that since the black ropes that connect the forsaken to the DO is likely what lets him ressurect them, that the whitteness n rands mind, may be a cause of him being bound to the creator... perhaps that is the tool that nyaneve uses to bring him back... we do know that she is the only one sofar to have noticed it...

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Interesting theory. It -would- solve the issue of being able to resurrect the dead since it would only work on somebody with such ties to the creator, then. Could work.

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